DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The ongoing push to remove Dayton’s controversial traffic cameras is on hold for now. The NAACP claims the cameras unfairly target minority and disadvantaged neighborhoods; they hoped to let voters decide the issue this November. But those efforts hit a major snag after garnering surprisingly little support from the community.
“We fell short, it’s very simple. We fell short. The community did not show up in the numbers we expected.” Dayton NAACP President Derrick Foward admits he was surprised by the lack of support for a ballot initiative that would let voters weigh in on Dayton’s traffic cameras. “Since this was a non-partisan issue, we reached out to the Democratic Party and Republican Party of Montgomery County, but did not receive much support from either party as this is a very sensitive issue.”
The NAACP wants to reevaluate which areas are chosen to be monitored by the cameras. The goal was 5000 signatures, and though exact numbers weren’t disclosed, they admitted they fell well short. Foward says, “We acknowledge not everyone is opposed to this technology, and based upon data provided by Dayton Police, there are fewer accidents when this technology is enforced.”
Foward says many respondents preferred the safety and security the cameras offered, but he claims that can be provided in other ways. “Yet somehow, other municipalities in Montgomery County have found other ways to enforce their traffic laws.”
The 90 day window to gather signatures has closed, which means the ballot question will not appear this fall even if it gets late support. But Foward says the NAACP will continue to address the issue. “We will continue our dialogue with the city of Dayton, to see how this could be a win-win for both the city and citizens.”